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SECOND PERSECUTION                         291

"Liu is a censor," replied Lu, "and according to custom, as the premier
I am not permitted to see a censor in private."

"Then how are we going to convey my wish to Anshih?" said the
Empress Dowager.

"I often see Fan Tsuyti at the office of the court diaries. I am bound
to see him, and will tell him to tell Anshih of your wish. They come
from the same province."

"Fan himself has memorialised the throne on the same subject," said
the Empress Dowager. "You should tell him to stop, too."

When this message was conveyed to Liu Anshih, he said to Fan:
"How can I keep quiet on such a thing which reflects on the Emperor's
personal character? You yourself should speak up, too, as one of the
close associates of His Majesty."

"I have," replied Fan.

The two agreed that although the story of the wet nurses might be
due to a misunderstanding, they should continue with their official
advice. But Liu Anshih had not only offended the Emperor. He had
also opposed the pardon of Chang Chun during the regency and had
incured the undying hatred of this sinister figure.

On the other hand, Chang Chun, Su's former friend, played upon
the young Emperor's love of women. Later he was impeached with the
following sentence: "He corrupted the Emperor's character with
' women and actresses and led him astray with immoral thoughts and
suggestions." He knew that the Emperor's favourite was one "Glamor
Liu" and not the queen. We cannot go into the amazing life history of
the queen who survived the fall of the northern Sung dynasty and
whose story would make a fine novel. Suffice it to say that by a frame-
up, the queen was accused of practicing the black art. Papers contain-
ing Taoist charms were thrown into her room through the window
and appropriately discovered by the investigators. Palace maids under
torture were force4 to testify that they had seen pins stuck through the
heart of Glamor Liu's portrait, a method of causing heart burns to the
rival by Taoist magic. About thirty palace maids were almost flogged
to death; the case was handled not through the usual courts of mstice
but entirely inside the palace. The queen was degraded to be officiaUy
a nun. Glamor Liu then alleged that the sharp pains in her chest
stopped. She was installed and the young emperor was delighted.
Later, however, Miss Liu had occasion to commit suicide.

Such was the character of the scion of the Sung house upon whom
the destiny of an empire and the peace of a nation now depended. It
took only a few wily ministers to manipulate a boy of eighteen and
produce irremediable national chaos.

The great slogan of the Emperor's new regime was two words, Skaa
Shu, which meant "return to the way of one's ancestors", and this